HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The introductory part (Modulo A) is addressed to people who have no specific knowledge and competence in the field of Medieval Philosophy. The goal of the this part is to acquaint students with the most important philosophical and theological issues of the Middle Ages, while furnishing them with the necessary tools in order to have a general knowledge of both the history and the historiography of Medieval Philosophy. The monographic part (Modulo B) aims further to accustom students to reading philosophically significant texts.
No specific requirement is required for the introductory part (Modulo A), except for a general knowledge of the History of Philosophy, with a special regard to the Antiquity and the Late Antiquity. For the monographic part (Modulo B), instead, the knowledge of a specialised handbook of Medieval Philosophy is required.
Course contents summary
Subject: Thomas Aquinas on the Nature of the Human Soul.
Summary: After devoting some introductory lessons to both the most important figures and topics of Medieval Philosophy (Modulo A), the course aims to provide a general presentation of Thomas Aquinas’s doctrines concerning the nature of the human soul. In order to do that, we shall start with reconstructing the historical and philosophical context of the Dominican Master. Then, we shall comment on the most important Aquinas’s texts concerning the human soul. Finally, we shall focus on a set of interconnected questions, which are important in order to reconstruct Thomas Aquinas’s anthropological doctrines. Among others, we shall take into consideration the origin of the soul, the relationship between the soul and the body, the relationship between the soul and its faculties, the existence of the soul after the death of the body.
For the Modulo A: an handbook to choose between E. Gilson, La Philosophie au Moyen Age, Paris 1944 (Italian translation: La filosofia nel Medioevo. Dalle origini patristiche alla fine del XIV secolo, Sansoni, Milano 2004), and P. Rossi-C. A. Viano (ed. by), Storia della Filosofia, vol. II: Il Medioevo, Laterza, Roma 1994.
For the Modulo B: besides one of the handbooks indicated above, S. Thomae de Aquino, Summa Theologiae, Ia, qq. 75-76 (Italian translation: ESD, Bologna 1984); J.-P. Torrell, Initiation à Saint Thomas d’Aquin. Sa personne et son oeuvre, Editions Universitaires-Editions Du Cerf, Fribourg-Paris 1993 (Italian translation : Tommaso d’Aquino. L’uomo e il teologo, Piemme, Casale Monferrato 1994); R. Pasnau, Thomas Aquinas on Human Nature, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2002; S. Vanni Rovighi, L’antropologia filosofica di San Tommaso d’Aquino, Vita e Pensiero, Milano 1972.
The introductory part (Modulo A) is characterised specifically by oral lessons, devoted to the reconstruction of the Medieval Philosophy, along with some tutorials, devoted to the reading of philosophical texts. The monographic part (Modulo B), moreover, is divided into two sections: the first section includes some lessons devoted to introducing the topic of the course, whilst the second section is characterised by the reading and the discussion of a philosophical text. For the valuation of students, besides the oral exam, the attendance to lessons and the active participation to tutorials and discussions are particularly considered. Moreover, the course requires the elaboration of a paper concerning the texts examined during the lessons.